FAQs - Toenail Problems
Why is my toenail black?
Trauma is one of the most common causes of black toenails. The black coloration is caused by a bruise or blood blister that forms underneath the toenail. Simply put, the black color is caused by blood that has settled underneath your nail.
If you have dropped something heavy or even stubbed your toe, you will most likely see the color change in a couple of days. Black toenails are most common in runners or dedicated walkers. While walking or running, the toes hit the top, sides or front of the shoes. This trauma then results in the discoloration or bruising. Black toenails can happen to serious athletes even if their shoes are the perfect fit!
If you have a black toenail and are not an athlete or haven’t dropped anything on your toe, it’s important you call your podiatrist. A fungal infection, ill-fitting shoes or even a malignant melanoma could be the cause. Don’t hesitate to callPlateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338 for more information. The staff at our Sammamish, WA office are happy to help!
Why is my toenail falling off?
Torn or ripped toenails can be extremely painful! There are a number of reasons why your toenail is in this condition. Sustaining an injury to your toe is a common cause. If you have longer toenails, one of them may have gotten caught on something that caused it to pull away from the nail bed. Stubbing your toe often can also cause your toenail to detach. It’s common for runners to lose toenails because of the repetitive pressure on the toes from running shoes. Skin conditions, chemicals and certain medicines may also result in the loss of a toenail.
Fungal toenail infections also cause detached toenails. The infection begins when tiny fungi enter the nail bed through small cuts. If your toes are yellow, cracked, thickened, discolored or spotted, you may be suffering from a fungal toenail infection. This is not something to ignore!
No matter the cause of your toenail problem, Dr. Howard Schaengold can help! Call Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425) 868-3338 in Sammamish, WA to learn more.
How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edges of the nail grow into the skin on the toe. As the nail grows, it pushes further into the soft skin bordering the toenail, eventually piercing it. The big toe is most commonly affected. Telltale signs of ingrown toenails are pain, redness and swelling. Some patients also experience warmth. If this toenail problem is left untreated, an infection could occur. If you notice blood or pus coming from your nail it is most likely infected. Sometimes this is so painful that the patient cannot wear closed-toed shoes due to the pressure placed on the toenail.
Wearing shoes that are too tight puts you more at risk of developing this painful toe problem. Cutting your toenails too short or cutting the edges can also cause the toenail to grow this way. If the skin surrounding your toenail is tender, swollen or hard, call Dr. Howard Schaengold of The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic. Since 1992 we have been serving the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond areas with great foot care.
Am I at risk for toenail fungus?
The simple answer is yes – everyone is at some risk because the fungi causing the infection are everywhere. However, simple answers don’t tell the whole story.
Men are more prone to this condition than women, and the risk increases as you get older. If you frequent public places which are warm and moist – like pools, showers, or gyms – you have a better chance of picking up the microorganisms that cause fungal toenails. The same is true if you routinely share towels or toenail clippers with others who may have the infection. Prolonged time in damp socks and shoes, a previous injury, or a skin condition like psoriasis or athlete’s foot increases your risk. Unfortunately, people with diabetes or a compromised immune system will have more trouble fighting off this type of infection.
If you notice that your toenails have white or yellow spots, or are becoming thick or crumbly, don’t delay! Contact The Plateau Foot & Ankle Clinic for an evaluation as soon as you notice a problem. Call (425) 868-3338 for great foot care in the Sammamish, Bellevue, Issaquah, and Redmond areas.